The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their official forecast for winter 2019-2020 (December / January / February).
This outlook (like any forecast) considers many different factors. In particular, with no El Niño or La Niña in place and neutral conditions in the forecast through spring, long-term trends and other climate patterns are weighted more heavily in this year’s outlook. (Background: El Niño or La Niña is known to greatly influence winter weather in the U.S.)
Below are the official forecasts issued by NOAA. The darker the shaded region, the higher probability of being above/below normal.
Higher likelihood of warmer than normal temperatures are shaded in orange. Equal chances for warmer/colder than normal temperatures are shown in white. No area is likely to be cooler than normal.
This year’s outlook calls for warmer than average temperatures for the majority of the U.S. — including all of Texas.
Higher probabilities of drier than normal conditions are shaded in dark yellow/brown. Equal chances are shown in white. Wetter than normal conditions are shaded in green.
This year’s outlook indicates wetter than normal precipitation is likely in Alaska, Hawaii and the upper tier of the contiguous U.S. Unfortunately, there is greater potential for Central Texas to see drier than normal conditions.
It’s important to remember that this is a forecast, not a promise. Some areas will be colder, wetter… others warmer, drier. It’s also worth pointing out that “warmer than average” does not necessarily mean warm. It simply means above the typical temperatures seen that time of year.
We use this outlook as a resource, a “tool in our tool belt”, another piece of information to use when putting together our own forecasts here in Central Texas.
For more information, you can read the full outlook here: NOAA Winter Outlook